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Dr Alison Halton

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am Project Officer in the Ar lab in the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and am reposonsible for the day to day operation and activity of the Argon-Argon and Noble Gas Research Laboratory and for managing the external work undertaken by the laboratory.

My research has been largely focused on the Ar/Ar dating of basalts, initally focusing on the Faroe Islands, where Paleocene-Eocene basalts are associated with the North Atlantic Large Igneous Province and the initial opening of the North Atlantic Ocean and more recently, basalts (and other volcanic rocks) from all over world. I am currently involved in a wide range of research on going in the lab, including insitu Ar/Ar studies on samples from various metamorphic terranes and noble gas research on young volcanic materials as well as in the development of new techniques and applications of the laser based Ar dating and noble gas research taking place at the Open University.

I am radiation protection supervisor for work undertaken in the Gass and Wolfson Buildings on campus and for work using the portable XRF equipment and in 2019 completed a Nebosh General Certificate in Occupational Heath and Safety.

Research interests

PhD Student Supervision

Simone Cogliati: Completed 2019

Eleni Wood: Completed 2019

Previous Research

  • 2011 – 2013: Project Officer The Open University, Timing of volcanism and intrusive activity in and around the Faroe Islands
  • PhD 2011, The Open University “PhD: Paleocene-Eocene Time-Stratigraphic Calibration in the North Atlantic Igneous Province with Focus on the Faroes-Shetland Basin Area”


Allanite U–Pb dating places new constraints on the high‐pressure to high‐temperature evolution of the deep Himalayan crust (2024)
Wood, Eleni; Warren, Clare J.; Kunz, Barbara E.; Argles, Tom W.; Bidgood, Anna; Halton, Alison; Hammond, Samantha J.; Millar, Ian L. and Roberts, Nick M. W.
Journal of Metamorphic Geology ((Early access))

Evidence for long-lived (>100 Myr) continental intraplate volcanism: Mongolia since the last ocean closure (2024)
Papadopoulou, Martha; Barry, Tiffany; Dash, Batulzii; Halton, Alison; Sherlock, Sarah and Hunt, Alison
Gondwana Research ((in press))

New evidence for the presence of the Inner Tauride Ocean: Lithological, geochronological and P-T correlations with the Tavşanlı and Afyon zones of Central Anatolia (Türkiye) (2023-11-03)
Celik, O. F.; Cortuk, R. M; Ozkan, M; Davies, J.H.F.L; Marzoli, A; Sherlock, Sarah; Risplendente, A; Halton, Alison and Perrot, M.G
Lithos, 462-463, Article 107409

Late Cretaceous – Paleogene tectonothermal evolution of the Akdağ Massif in the central anatolian crystalline complex (northern Kayseri, central Turkey) (2023-10-01)
Çörtük, Rahmi Melih; Çelik, Ömer Faruk; Özkan, Mutlu; Marzoli, Andrea; Halton, Alison and Sherlock, Sarah
Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 255, Article 105775

Geochronology and geochemistry of the South Scotia Ridge: Miocene island arc volcanism of the Scotia Sea (2021-10)
Riley, Teal R.; Burton-Johnson, Alex; Leat, Philip T.; Hogan, Kelly A. and Halton, Alison M.
Global and Planetary Change, 205(103615)

The 40Ar–39Ar dating and geochemistry of the Carpathian C1 obsidians (Zemplín, Slovakia) (2021-08)
Kohút, Milan; Sherlock, Sarah C. and Halton, Alison M.
Geologica Carpathica, 72(4) (pp. 344-357)

Tracking the behaviour of persistently degassing volcanoes using noble gas analysis of Pele's hairs and tears: A case study of the Masaya volcano (Nicaragua) (2021-06)
Cogliati, Simone; Sherlock, Sarah; Halton, Alison; Reid, Kerry; Rymer, Hazel and Kelley, Simon
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 414, Article 107212

Expanding the toolbox for dating basaltic lava sequences: 40Ar–39Ar dating of silicic volcanic glass from interbeds (2021-01)
Cogliati, Simone; Sherlock, Sarah; Halton, Alison; Ebinghaus, Alena; Kelley, Simon; Jolley, David and Barry, Tiffany
Journal of the Geological Society, 178(1)

Structural and metamorphic inheritance controls strain partitioning during orogenic shortening (Kalak Nappe Complex, Norwegian Caledonides) (2020-07)
Ceccato, A.; Menegon, L.; Warren, C. J. and Halton, A. M.
Journal of Structural Geology, 136, Article 104057

Oligocene deformation of the Chuandian terrane in the SE margin of the Tibetan Plateau related to the extrusion of Indochina (2020-06-27)
Li, Shihu; Su, Tao; Spicer, Robert A; Xu, Congli; Sherlock, Sarah; Halton, Alison; Hoke, Gregory; Yimin, Tian; Zhang, Shitao; Zhou, Zhekun; Deng, Chenglong and Zhu, Rixiang
Tectonics, 39, Article e2019TC005974(7)

Simultaneous and extensive removal of the East Asian lithospheric root (2020-03-05)
Sheldrick, Thomas C.; Barry, Tiffany L.; Dash, Batulzii; Gan, Chengshi; Millar, Ian L.; Barford, Dan N. and Halton, Alison
Scientific reports, Article 4128

Geochronology of volcanically associated hydrocarbon charge in the pre-salt carbonates of the Namibe Basin, Angola (2020)
Rochelle-Bates, N.; Roberts, N.M.W.; Sharp, I.; Freitag, U.; Verwer, K.; Halton, A.; Fiordalisi, E.; van Dongen, B.E.; Swart, R.; Ferreira, C.H.; Dixon, R. and Schroder, S.
Geology, 49(3) (pp. 335-340)

The lawsonite-glaucophane blueschists of Elba Island (Italy) (2019-12-01)
Bianco, Caterina; Godard, Gaston; Halton, Alison; Brogi, Andrea; Liotta, Domenico and Caggianelli, Alfredo
Lithos, 348-349, Article 105198

Evidence for southward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate: Implications from Mesozoic adakitic lavas from Mongolia (2019-09-06)
Sheldrick, Thomas C.; Barry, Tiffany L.; Millar, Ian L.; Barford, Dan N.; Halton, Alison M. and Smith, Dan J.
Gondwana Research, 79 (pp. 140-156)

Volcanic constraints on the unzipping of Africa from South America: Insights from new geochronological controls along the Angola margin (2019-06-05)
Jerram, D.A.; Sharp, I.R.; Torsvik, T.H.; Poulsen, R.; Watton, T.; Freitag, U.; Halton, A.; Sherlock, S.C.; Malley, J.A.S.; Finley, A.; Roberge, J.; Swart, R.; Fabregas, P.; Ferreira, C.H. and Machado, V.
Tectonophysics, 760 (pp. 252-266)

Widespread tephra dispersal and ignimbrite emplacement from a subglacial volcano (Torfajökull, Iceland) (2019-06-01)
Moles, Jonathan D.; McGarvie, Dave; Stevenson, John A.; Sherlock, Sarah C.; Abbott, Peter M.; Jenner, Frances E. and Halton, Alison M.
Geology, 47(6) (pp. 577-580)

New 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Antrim Plateau Volcanics, Australia: clarifying an age for the eruptive phase of the Kalkarindji continental flood basalt province (2018-10)
Marshall, Peter E.; Halton, Alison M.; Kelley, Simon P.; Widdowson, Mike and Sherlock, Sarah C.
Journal of the Geological Society, 175(6) (pp. 974-985)

Argon redistribution during a metamorphic cycle: Consequences for determining cooling rates (2016-12-02)
McDonald, Christopher S.; Warren, Clare J.; Mark, Darren F.; Halton, Alison M.; Kelley, Simon P. and Sherlock, Sarah C.
Chemical Geology, 443 (pp. 182-197)

Argon behaviour in an inverted Barrovian sequence, Sikkim Himalaya: the consequences of temperature and timescale on 40Ar/39Ar mica geochronology (2015-12-01)
Mottram, Catherine M.; Warren, Clare J.; Halton, Alison M.; Kelley, Simon P. and Harris, Nigel B. W.
Lithos, 238 (pp. 37-51)

Eocene volcanism in offshore southern Baffin Bay (2015-11)
Nelson, Catherine E.; Jerram, Dougal A.; Clayburn, John A. P.; Halton, Alison M. and Roberge, Julie
Marine and Petroleum Geology, 67 (pp. 678-691)

Timing and conditions of peak metamorphism and cooling across the Zimithang Thrust, Arunachal Pradesh, India (2014-07)
Warren, Clare J.; Singh, Athokpam K.; Roberts, Nick M.W.; Regis, Daniel; Halton, Alison M. and Singh, Rajkumar B.
Lithos, 200-201 (pp. 94-110)

Observation of centimetre-scale argon diffusion in alkali feldspars: implications for 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology (2014)
Flude, Stephanie; Halton, Alison M.; Kelley, Simon P.; Sherlock, Sarah C.; Schwanethal, James and Wilkinson, Camilla M.
Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 378 (pp. 265-275)

Noble gas behaviour in pumice: Implications for volcanic degassing (2020)
Cogliati, Simone; Sherlock, Sarah; Halton, Alison and Barry, Tiffany
In : Goldschmidt 2020 (21 Jun - 26 Jun 2020, Online)

Understanding the degassing of young volcanic systems using noble gases (2017)
Cogliati, Simone; Sherlock, Sarah; Halton, Alison; Barry, Tiffany; Branney, Mike and Kelley, Simon
In : VMSG Joint Assembly 2017 (.4-6 Jan, .)

Noble gases: A tool to track the degassing of active volcanic systems (2017)
Cogliati, Simone; Sherlock, Sarah; Halton, Alison; Reid, Kerry; Barry, Tiffany; Branney, Mike and Kelley, Simon
In : IAVCEI - 2017 (14-18 Aug 2017, Portland - Oregon (US))

STAMP across the Eastern Himalaya: ages and stages of burial, transformation and early exhumation (2013-10)
Warren, Clare; Singh, A.K.; Roberts, N.M.W; Halton, Alison and Singh, B.K.
In : Geological Society America 125th Anniversary Annual Meeting (27-30 Oct 2013, Denver)

High resolution determination of orogenic cooling rates: an eastern Himalayan example (2013-09)
Warren, C. J.; Singh, A.K.; Roberts, N.M.W; Halton, A. M. and Singh, B.K.
In : Building Strong Continents Conference (2-4 Sep 2013, Portsmouth) (p 48)